PSU GD in the Oregonian

Posted on Nov 30th, 2010 by Command Save

Author: Carrie Sturrock, The Oregonian
Posted:November 19, 2010

Garlic grows perfectly packaged. So it was especially galling to the graphic design students in Chris North's five-week "Waste Not" seminar at Portland State University when a fellow student found peeled garlic at the grocery store sold in individually wrapped cellophane packets, all in a larger bag. But it helped spur a branding project by three students called Think. "Less". where they envisioned a system whereby customers would be rewarded with points for purchases that generate less waste. Those students will present their sustainable solution at the Shift 5 salon "What does sustainable design mean to you?" on Thursday in Portland sponsored by the local chapter of AIGA, the professional association for design.

The idea is for graphic designers, who are all about branding and message making, to think up ideas for making sustainable changes. It's "an event to inform, inspire and engage peers, clients and students about sustainable design thinking and practices." Of the 10 groups presenting at the upcoming salon, North has a second team of students who will talk about their proposal to rebrand Portland's municipal water supply "Perfectly Fine." Instead of focusing on the terrible waste that's bottled water, why not just rebrand the stuff flowing from the taps? They created "Perfectly Fine" stickers that people can put on water bottles. North is even thinking of sending some to Mayor Sam Adams. "The point of the class is for them to think differently, for them to rethink the role of graphic designers and rethink accountability for design decisions," said North. "Someone had to design that ridiculous garlic package."

Shift 5 is Thursday Nov. 18 from 7-9:30 p.m. at Ecotrust, 721 NW 9th Avenue in Portland. The event is $5 for AIGA members and $10 for non-members. If you bring your own mug, you can drink the free beer.